Learning to Layer for Fall and Winter Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains featuring the North Face Collection
The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the finest places in the world to see phenomenal Fall foliage and breathtaking views in the Winter. People travel from all over the world in October and November in hopes to see the Smoky Mountain’s peak colors. When the leaves are gone, the Great Smoky Mountains offer another surprise to visitors – inspiring views from places that are typically dense in greenery during the warmer months. One of the best ways to see all the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer in the Autumn and Winter months is to plan a hike during your stay.
If you do plan to hike in the Fall or Winter, you will want to be prepared for varying temperatures – and the Apple Valley Mountain Store has the perfect North Face gear and apparel to help you dress for success on your next Great Smoky Mountain hike. When gaining elevation during a hike, layering your clothing is of utmost importance. We have put together the guide below to help navigate you through some of our newest North Face merchandise so you can be ready for your next Smoky Mountain hike.
Before we get into layering, we wanted to cover a few basic tips for hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
- Don’t forget your basic gear! Even if you are just planning a day hike in the Smoky Mountains, you will want to make sure you have a water bottle with a purifier, compass, tarp, extra food and clothing, waterproof matches, a flashlight, and a whistle to summon help in areas you may not have cellphone service. The North Face Base Camp Duffel is the perfect hiking accessory to pack the essentials in. Water-resistant, lightweight, and incredibly durable, this bag can be used as a backpack or an over-the-shoulder duffel.
- Check the weather and trail conditions! Not only is this important when planning your clothing layers, but you will want to make sure the trails you plan to use are open and you won’t be surprised by any weather conditions. It isn’t uncommon to find snow on a Fall hike in the Great Smoky Mountains in the higher elevations!
- Tell someone about your plan! Whether you are hiking with a group or on your own, it is important to let someone know where you will be hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Share your hiking itinerary with a trusted friend or family member and be sure to call them when you finish.
- Dress for success! Here is a guide to help you dress appropriately for your Fall or Winter hike in the Great Smoky Mountains:
- Layer 1 – Your base layer should be comfortable and lightweight. We recommend a synthetic top like the North Face Hyperlayer Hoodie. Pair it with any of North Face’s leggings or something adjustable like the North Face Aphrodite Pant with drawstrings and you have the perfect base layer for your Smoky Mountain hike.
- Layer 2 – As you gain elevation on your hike, the temperature can drop quickly in the Fall and Winter. A flannel button-up or full-zip vest with a beanie will give you the extra bit of warmth you need without being too bulky. We recommend North Face’s Arroyo Flannel or Furry Fleece Vest for a second layer.
- Layer 3 – Depending on the temperatures you will be hiking in, you may be able to skip the third layer so be sure to follow rule number 2! Even in the early Fall, you can sometimes find snow in the highest elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Mount LeConte can see temperatures as low as 35 degrees in October and 21 degrees in December. In these conditions, you will want to make sure you have a fully insulated jacket. We love the North Face’s Shelbe Raschel, which comes in both full-zip hooded and half-zip pullover options.
- Layer 4 – You may skip the third layer, but layer 4 is always important in the Great Smoky Mountains – a rain jacket! The Great Smoky Mountains National Park sees anywhere from 55-85 inches of rain per year, so it is safe to say it may rain on your hike. Choose something colorful like the North Face Fanorak, or if you prefer something more subtle, check out the North Face Cyclone 2.
We hope this guide helps you feel prepared for your next Great Smoky Mountain adventure! Apple Valley’s Mountain Store is happy to help outfit you for your next Smoky Mountain hike, so be sure to stop in and check out all of their North Face apparel and merchandise.